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Podcast: Jon Levenson on the Moral Force of the Book of Ruth

June 3, 2022 | By: Jon Levenson

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Beginning Saturday night, the Jewish people will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. During the festival, Jews traditionally study the Book of Ruth, the biblical text that tells the story of a non-Jewish widow who becomes the ancestor of King David.

To help uncover why the Book of Ruth is so beloved, and to make sense of the intertextual references and literary allusions at work in it, the Harvard professor Jon Levenson joins this week’s podcast. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor, Jonathan Silver, he explains how the narrative drive of Ruth moves from death to life, and reveals how its principal figures manifest the virtue of hesed, traditionally translated as lovingkindness, and meaning loyal devotion.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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More about: The Jewish Family  • Theology  • Tikvah Podcasts  

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